Android 7.1 Nougat implements panic detection mode to fight malicious apps

XDA Developers explain that the “panic detection mode” tracks how many times a user press the back button within a certain period of time

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Highlights

    • Android 7.1 implements panic detection mode
    • The mode which runs in the background detects panic situation
    • The new feature has to be ‘specifically enabled’ to work

Malicious apps are severe breakneck issues on the Android ecosystem. While several researchers have reported and advised users about such malware many Android users have befallen into this pit. Google, however has now silently added a “panic mode” to Android 7.1 Nougat in order to protect its users from rogue apps.

XDA Developers who discovered this mode within ‘Android’s open source code’ said that the search giant has introduced this new security feature in Android 7.1 Nougat OS. The Developers explain that the “panic detection mode” tracks how many times a user press the back button within a certain period of time. The mode which runs in the background detects panic situation whenever a user presses the back button multiple times in rapid succession. Once the panic situation is detected it allows Android OS to override the application that is causing problem and sends the user safely back to the home screen.

Reports note that this feature will be useful if a malicious application takes control over the display and prevents user from backing out of it. Notably, Google has not revealed about this feature publicly, but the implementation will certainly help users to avoid their devices from being plagued from such rogue apps.

Also Read: Over 800 Android apps on Google Play Store infected by Xavier Malware

Unfortunately, the safety is limited to only those devices running on Android 7.1 Nougat OS, besides it has to be ‘specifically enabled’ to work. XDA Developers points out that “just because a user’s device is running Android 7.1+ doesn’t mean this panic detection behavior is actually enabled. The value that determines whether the feature is on can be found in the config.xml file within the SystemUI APK.”

The latest distribution numbers reveal that only .9 percent of Android users are running Android 7.1 Nougat. While this accounts for a very small number of Android users, we hope that Google adds the ‘panic detection mode’ feature to the older Android OS version as well in the future releases.